Desert Bitterbrush

  • Scientific name: Purshia glandulosa
  • Hybrid of Cliffrose and Antelope Bitterbrush
  • Grows in the southwest, Mojave & Sonoran deserts
  • Long-lived and very drought tolerant
  • Persists on difficult sites.
  • Found in Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona

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Desert Bitterbrush (Purshia glandulosa) is a hybrid of Cliffrose and Antelope Bitterbrush that grows in the arid regions of the desert southwest, Mojave & Sonoran steppes. It averages 2-7 feet tall. It is a long-lived drought tolerant shrub and establishes and persists on difficult sites.

Bitterbrush is found in several semi-arid shrub types throughout its range, including blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), chaparral, and singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla)-California juniper (Juniperus californica) woodlands.

Desert Bitterbrush (Purshia glandulosa) is well adapted to desert life: with water-loss resistant leaves and long taproots, a bitterbrush plant may be decades old. Some have been discovered to be well over a century old. The shrub shape may vary considerably, from a spreading prostrate form to nearly a tree. The thick leaves are small, typically less than an inch long, and green underneath, a hairy surface that gives the entire plant a dusty green appearance. Look for the three well-separated teeth on the end of the leaf.

It is found in Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona.

For more variety options click here: Bitterbrush

***Click on the “Quick Plant Facts” tab above for more information.

Helpful Links

Additional information about this product can be found on the academic websites linked below.


Many plants have more than one common and scientific name. We've listed a few of them below.

  • Desert Bitterbrush
  • Purshia glandulosa Curran

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Antelope Bitterbrush

Scientific Name:



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Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Full Shade Intolerant

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